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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Establishment pans Trump’s notion of what ‘presidential’ means

What does it mean to be “presidential?”

It’s a word we’ve been hearing a lot lately. The Encarta dictionary defines presidential as, “like president – done in the manner of a president, or having the appearance of a president.”

Donald TrumpSay what? “Done in the manner of a president?”…. or… “Appearance of a president?” How is a president really supposed to act? Similarly, what should a president look like?

If you answered George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan to either the “manner” or “appearance” question be prepared to deal with the howls of protest from the politically correct set who will surely accuse you of racism or sexism for failing to take into account Barack Obama’s ethnic skin tone or for omitting some future woman’s turn as head honcho of the White House.

Despite the un-answerability of the “What is presidential?” question, many an anti-Trumper is claiming that President Trump doesn’t fit the description regardless, whatever it may be. They say he’s loud and uncouth; they don’t like his hand gestures; they question his off-the-cuff style in addressing journalists.

The establishment hates it that “non-presidential” Trump is America’s commander-in-chief because not only are his America-first issue positions a threat to their cherished livelihood, his un-statesmanlike demeanor is utterly distasteful to them. Take for example Trump’s re-tweet of the pro wrestling meme showing him pummeling a man with a CNN face. Would Bill Clinton have done that?

No; Bubba Bill did all his work behind closed doors and liberals were fine with it. In contrast, Trump doesn’t hide his contempt for the establishment media and suddenly everyone’s mouths are agape with shock.

But it isn’t just the left that’s concerned with the “presidential” issue. Conservative Ben Shapiro wrote last week at CNS News, “Trump could have helped restore a sense of honor to the White House. He didn't. It's possible in theory that such a failure could help Americans turn to a sort of small-government libertarianism and say to themselves, ‘Hey, why give these dolts a bunch of power?’ Instead, Americans seem to be saying to themselves: ‘Hey, why do the other guys get to be awful? Why can't we do it, too?’

“The result: a race to the bottom. That race seems to be accelerating daily now. Again, that's not Trump's fault. It's ours. We ought to demand that our politicians be more than celebrities who enjoy WWE memes or Hollywood-adored figureheads for ‘woke’ talking points. They ought to act out some sort of honor in their Constitutional roles.”

Ouch. As a persistent #NeverTrumper Shapiro never hid his disdain for the New York businessman-turned-politician-turned-president but this outburst was particularly harsh. It’s not enough to just dislike Trump, apparently; to Shapiro and people like him personal animus towards the man who now occupies the Oval Office translates to denigrating the entire institution of the presidency.

Trump’s social media habit has truly changed the world. But we could see it coming.

In the early stages of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign one of his critics’ chief worries was the horrific (to them) notion that Trump’s unconventional speaking style, diction and word usage would somehow un-dignify the office if he ever managed to make it there.

For heaven’s sake, they whined, the outsider candidate disgraced himself, the country and every president that’s gone before by calling Rosie O’Donnell a “pig” during the first GOP primary debate…and let’s not even mention Trump’s allusion to his manhood when Marco Rubio implied the size of his hands were smaller than they should be.

The staid establishment media was beside itself with astonishment and outrage. It doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest that they feature graphic violence and sexual content as a standard offering every night on the evening news, but when a man is running for the highest office in the land he darn well better act the part.

And of course there are those who swear Trump’s non-presidential conduct is dragging down the entire Republican Party too.  Kyle Feldscher of the Washington Examiner reported on one of them last week, “Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes the way President Trump is communicating and advocating for his policies is bringing ‘a coarseness that's unacceptable’ into politics.

“Kasich told ABC in an interview aired Sunday that Trump's controversial tweets and public statements slamming Democrats are not going to convince them to work with Republicans on any policies in Congress, let alone the healthcare legislation Trump is currently prioritizing…

“…[Kasich indicated] Trump's tactics only further entrench the bitter partisan divide in Washington by forcing Republicans and Democrats to square off in pitched battle over various policies.”

In reading this it appears Kasich’s mindset is stuck back in the 2016 primary campaign when he basically mumbled the same things whenever given the opportunity to speak. Unfortunately for him conservative Republican voters weren’t at all taken with Kasich’s “let’s all get along” message of utopian optimism.

Does Kasich not listen to anything the Democrats are saying these days – or said during Obama’s two terms? They weren’t the least bit interested in working with Republicans on anything. Was it only my imagination or was Harry Reid really a great guy who just couldn’t convince the obtuse opposing party to blow up government to the levels Democrats would’ve been satisfied with?

The Republicans certainly could have gotten along better with the Democrats if they’d just rolled over and helped the then-majority party pass their bills without objection. The welfare state would be even more enormous than it is now. Is that a sign of success?

It’s also evident Kasich is essentially making excuses for the lack of action from establishment congressional Republicans, giving them an “out” for getting nothing done by asserting that Trump and his “coarseness” is responsible for the GOP’s failure to agree on healthcare legislation.

At least the Democrats don’t hide their resistance to Republican policies; there are an awful lot of Republicans who pretend to want to get rid of the job-killing Obamacare but when the time comes to actually cast a vote they run for the nearest friendly liberal reporter who is then all too happy to write up a story airing the disgruntled lawmaker’s political apprehensions and bashing of Trump.

Kasich is no different – and everyone knows it. Do you think the producers of Sunday morning news programs would bother having him on if they didn’t realize in advance that he planned to criticize Trump? Kasich only managed to win his home state in the GOP primary race yet there are still those out there in news media-land who believe he speaks for Republican voters in general.

He doesn’t; Kasich is an establishmentarian without an audience. If people really wanted someone who is “presidential” in 2016 Kasich would be living in the White House now instead of stirring up controversy in a TV studio in New York City or Washington blubbering to some liberal hack who wants the same things Kasich does – to preserve the system status quo.

It won’t work. Trump will certainly have the last laugh on the “presidential” issue because he’s the one currently occupying the big boy chair behind the president’s desk. Roger Kimball wrote last week at American Greatness, “Yes, there is an important sense in which Trump is not ‘normal.’ But he may just be the last, best hope for the restoration of the conditions that make normality possible. It is, in any event, an irony as distasteful as it is pathetic that the people who have gloried in trashing normality for the last several decades are suddenly up in arms because someone treats them with the same contempt with which they have treated normal Americans—the ‘bitter clingers,’ the ‘irredeemable’ ‘deplorables.’

“…Like every politician, Donald Trump will require a modicum of good luck to succeed. Many things, including many things utterly beyond his control, could derail his presidency. But when it comes to handling his many domestic enemies and opponents, it looks to me like Trump is playing three-dimensional chess while they struggle to master checkers.”

Kimball’s words are too true. Trump may not grasp the inner workings of the federal bureaucracy but he does understand human nature. As long as there’s an elitist ruling class media Trump will fight them tooth and nail and won’t spare the rod in delivering a thorough thrashing on every occasion.

It’s obvious by now that Trump doesn’t care all that much about the concept of being “presidential” because by the establishment’s definition it would mean he’d have to stop being himself and start accepting what’s failed in America for decades. If that’s the case I’m betting most Americans would prefer someone who isn’t “presidential” at all.

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That Encarta definition is really stupid. Why did they bother?

Bubba Bill did all his work behind closed doors and liberals were fine with it. Well, except for his appearances on late night TV shows where he played the saxophone and discussed his underwear. Nobody seemed to object to that. Then there was Obama who spent a lot of time on late night television pretending he was a comedian. Nobody seemed to object to that.

So what's presidential? Check out the various behaviors of 44 men who have served in the office. Are there any two alike?